April Boyle: activate ideas to (re)build a community


April Boyle found a gap in Detroit’s local entrepreneurial market and filled it. Now she’s making an impact on the city’s comeback by helping people turn their business ideas into reality.


April Boyle, executive director at Detroit’s Build Institute and her team have graduated over 700 aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs, many of whom have gone on to start successful businesses in Detroit.


Sponsored by: Detroit Experience Factory



“When you’re leading an organization in a city with as many challenges as Detroit has...every day I am out of my comfort zone.” (5:40)


“A disruptor sees things aren’t working and they try to solve the problem.” (10:28)



Go to 7:25 to learn about April’s process for making sure Build Institute reflects the local Detroit community it is intended to serve. Her approach is so simple and so effective.


At 12:05 April goes on to describe an emerging trend that is really important in the reinvention space.



It takes a community to activate ideas and build a successful business.

Disruption is a solution, not a problem.

A meaningful venture connects resources, ideas and information to an audience in need.

The pop-up culture is a low-risk testing ground for innovators and entrepreneurs to try out new or reinvented products and services.

Success looks different for different people

Direct download: Ep_63_April_Boyle_Final_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

Marlowe Stoudamire created a project in Detroit, for Detroit, that has piqued the interest of a much broader audience.

In this episode, listen to the Founder and Chief Engagement Strategist of Butterfly Effect Detroit tell the story of why he transitioned from a high-paying corporate job to a social catalyst that activates forward movement in the City of Detroit. Marlowe is out to change the future of Detroit by making a difference today.



“Real change happens when you get everyone moving in the same direction, mobilizing them.” (5:02)

“It’s not always a rosy picture, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying, that doesn’t mean we stop working together. The momentum is important.” (13:30)


Jump to 7:56 to hear Marlowe describe a very personal metamorphosis that led him to realize that he wanted more meaning behind his work.
At 11:18 Marlow talks about his involvement with the Detroit Historical Society’s project, Detroit 1967: Looking Back to Move Forward (http://www.detroit1967.org/about/), an initiative to transform the culture in Detroit today to shape its future.


Invite your customers to listen, be heard. participate and take action.
There’s no value in having knowledge without sharing it.
Offer multiple opportunities for your audience to participate with your organization.
Build for the future.
Put yourself in situations that force you to collide with different people and ways of thinking.

Direct download: Marlowe_Stoudamire_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

PureReinvention Podcast 061

Surprise and delight. A tried-and-true method for keeping your target audience interested in what you have to offer. This podcast guest has weaved that thought process through a 65-plus-year-old family business to keep his customers coming back for more.

Business owner, author and speaker Phil Wrzesinski is the president and CEO of The Toy House, a business started by his grandparents in 1949. In this episode, Phil talks about how he is learning to compete with big-box businesses including online retailers and why team buy-in is so important when executing a vision.

“I have the ability to take hard concepts and make them easy.” (4:35)

“If you really want to get your customers to come back...you have to give [them] a little more over the top of what they expected.”  (10:05) 


  • At 8:05 as Phil describes the unique value his company adds to the marketplace that makes it stand out against his competitors. As you listen, think about what your company does that differs from the competition and why. 
  • Make sure you catch Phil’s philosophy on getting team buy-in at 11:00. What he says reminds us of one of our favorite bits of advice; begin with the end in mind. 


  1. To find your unique value proposition, look for your wow factor. 
  2. Do what you think you do well, better. 
  3. Customers want curated options tailored to their needs. 
  4. Allow disruption to give you the space to take ownership of a problem. 
  5. Nurture and celebrate your team members' personality traits that sustain, or even better, enhance the company’s unique value proposition. 
  6. Make your company memorable and share-worthy by giving customers more than they expect.
Direct download: Phil_Wrzesinski_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Phil Knight: moving your mission forward every day

What did you do today to move your mission forward? This week’s guest says asking yourself that question every day is key to reinvention.

Dr. Phil Knight, executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan, is on a mission to look at hunger in a different way. He is taking a culture-driven approach to reframe the solution to an age-old problem; curing hunger. What he shares in this episode can be applied to any industry that needs a new way to to solve an old problem.

Sponsored by: HRM Services

“Failure is an opportunity to start over more intelligently.” (7:55)

“It has to be about creating opportunities - getting better at what we do - so when we win, [our customers] win.” (9:40)

At 14:18 Dr. Knight expands on how the Food Bank Council is applying the first three fundamentals of PureReinvention to accomplish its mission.

Listen at 17:15 for more on how Dr. Knight is working to intentionally lead a positive, mission-driven culture that he hopes will outlast his tenure with the organization.

Failure is part of the job.
An organization’s culture is a strong force that needs to be managed delicately.
Identify natural partners by asking, “Who wins when we win?”
Keep your principles in front of you.
Reach for a higher level of excellence.

Direct download: Phil_Knight_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

Back for more? We don't blame you! These guys have so much insight bundled into their quips, jokes and great stories we could hardly wait to bring you part two. There is so much good stuff in this episode!

“I’ve worked harder and more on this show in the last five years than on any other job I've had, but I’ve never been more satisfied by the work that I do.”
-Jim Daldin

In part two of our interview with Tom and Jim, the creators of the PBS show UTR:Under the Radar Michigan, you'll get to hear their perspective on the major growth and innovation happening in Detroit, why learning never ends and how community is the real secret to success.

“...it’s by making them part of the process. We get some of our best, most creative ideas for segments from our viewers.” (10:10)

“When I was an intern in radio, my philosophy was just keep your mouth shut, learn as much as you can and if they ask you if you can do something say, ‘yes I can do it’ and figure it out. Don’t be afraid to fail.” (21:40)

Tune in at 6:20 to hear Jim describe how UTR Michigan has explored different avenues to expand the way they share stories and what they’ve learned along the way.
Hit the 16:00 mark to hear Tom explain why he believes so strongly in the power of the group for brainstorming and coming up with out-of-the-box ideas. (If there ever was a box in the first place).

The pace of change is happening faster and faster.
Put yourself out there - even when it feels like you’re too busy grinding through the day to day - make change by being the change.
Intentionally reform your old habits for doing business that are no longer serving the best interests of your organization.
Engage your customers/members by allowing them to be part of the process to create something new.
Keep a running idea list so you can revisit it and unlock new connections.

Direct download: Under_The_Radar_Ep_2_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT






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